12 January 2009

Budget Lunches: $1 Fast Food

In New York you can still buy lunch for a dollar albeit with fewer choices than a few years ago. You'll be buying from a street vendor but a hot pretzel is pretty tasty even if you're holding it with gloves and eating while moving.

In the South, we don't have many (any) food vendors, other than silver trucks at construction sites. And, of course, we don't have many (any) construction sites anymore.

But we do have dollar lunches. At our drive-thrus. Thus, we eat while moving, too. (For the record, New Yorkers have fast food restaurants, too. And they also have the dollar menus. I know, because I've stood in their long lines in order to make Manhattan meals affordable.)

McDonald's very successful $1 menu keeps it the #1 drive-thru chain. (Boomers will remember when the hamburger cost just 15¢.)

Sonic's dollar menu offers a mix of fat and fruit; see image above for detailing of fried foods and.... a banana! Go during Happy Hour and you can even beat the price of the $1 soft drink on the dollar menu. (So, my mid-afternoon lunch today was the $1 hamburger and the half-priced diet Coke. Ah, but then I went and more than doubled the tab when I added the bag of ice.)

Wendy's Super Value Menu highlights its 99¢ Value Trio (burgers and a chicken sandwich). Wendy's also is "auctioning" money, cars, and Xboxes online. (No clear indication of how this works, but I did register so that I can go take a look later this week....)

Dollar menus are offered at Burger King, Taco Bell, and local burger shacks, too. No one can be making a profit on these items (well, maybe a profit on fries) but they do bring in customers who sometimes buy from the regular menu, too. Or, in my case, add a bag of expensive ice. I think the real purpose is to keep Americans in their fast food habit. If tight budgets were to make us give up fast food, we'd fall into other daily patterns.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

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